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'Extreme arrears' is one of few reasons for eviction during lockdown

It’s been confirmed that during the current one month lockdown in England there will be no enforcement of possession orders except in 'urgent cases.'

In a letter to the High Court Enforcement Officers Association, Justice Secretary Robert Buckland has confirmed that during the lockdown there will be no enforcement of Possession Orders except for the most serious cases.

These will include those related to illegal trespassing and squatting and tenants engaged in anti-social behaviour, fraud or deception. 


The government has also confirmed that it will bring forward an exemption from the enforcement ban for cases related to "extreme pre-COVID rent arrears."

Commenting on the issue Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, says: “The vast majority of landlords who have had tenants affected due to the pandemic have been working constructively to support them. We continue to encourage and support such action.

“However, in a minority of cases renters have abused the protections afforded by the recent ban on repossessions, causing significant hardship. It is therefore important that the Government recognises that in the most serious cases enforcement action must continue.”

The announcement comes as the government is extending the furlough scheme and equivalent support for the self-employed until March next year.  



Research suggests that one in 11 private renters is currently furloughed and Beadle says: “The extension will be a life line to many renters reliant on it. However this still does not address the considerable rent arrears that tenants and landlords continue to face due to the pandemic through no fault of their own.

“Ministers need urgently to develop a bespoke financial package for renters to pay off such arrears. This should include a mix of interest free government guaranteed hardship loans and increased benefit support for those who rely on it.”

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  • Ruan Gildchirst

    The eviction ban never ended in September it’s still on, and will be next year too unofficially

    They say they are still evicting squatters but in reality they are not, in London squatters are being left alone, the bailiffs are not working they are all on furlough as well.

    There are more and more boarded up buildings from businesses that have gone bust, and it’s these commercial buildings that the squatters aim for.

    • 06 November 2020 16:19 PM

    Try the High Court - Their bailiffs can save you months of time which can turn out to be cheaper that waiting for court bailiffs.


    Yes David they are well worth their fee and they are back at work now.

  • Ruan Gildchirst

    Rents and property are still very much overpriced, with many people paying mortgages and rents that they can no longer afford while numerous properties stand vacant. The solution, of course, is to cut your losses and stop paying. But then you might soon have to relocate. That is OK, because, as I mentioned, there is no shortage of vacant properties around. Finding a good place to live will become less and less of a problem as people stop paying their rents and mortgages and get foreclosed or evicted, because the number of vacant properties will only increase. The best course of action is to become a property caretaker, legitimately occupying a vacant property rent-free, and keeping an eye on things for the owner. What if you can't find a position as a property caretaker? Well, then you might have to become a squatter, maintain a list of other vacant properties that you can go to next, and keep your camping gear handy just in case. If you do get tossed out, chances are, the people who tossed you out will then think about hiring a property caretaker, to keep the squatters out. And what do you do if you become property caretaker? Well, you take care of the property, but you also look out for all the squatters, because they are the reason you have a legitimate place to live. A squatter in hand is worth three absentee landlords in the bush. The absentee landlord might eventually cut his losses and go away, but your squatter friends will remain as your neighbors. Having some neighbors is so much better than living in a ghost town.

  • Ruan Gildchirst

    Squatters sleeping rough in below zero temperatures will do anything to get shelter from the elements

    There is now a lot of commercial properties empty boarded up and not in use

    Residential properties are more strict when it comes to squatters rights, the squatters have to make a fake AST then the police leave them alone

    It’s getting crazy out there


    What isn't at all clear is whether you're happy or angry with the situation you describe ( or perhaps hope for?).

    I still can't think of any safer home for the equity I have accumulated during a lifetime of hard work and prudent investment. With better properties in the better areas, attracting better tenants with solvent credit worthy guarantors I am not experiencing any issues at all and don't anticipate any.

    I accept lower quality properties with dross tenants may be problematic currently, but that has often been the case.


    I have reported your comments above on the basis that you are inciting people to commit crimes - illegal squatting in residential properties, fraudulently preparing false tenancy agreements which would be perverting the course of justice.

    Your repeatedly posting the same posts in numerous articles is also evidence of your motives to disrupt the legitimate business of landlords irrespective of the prevailing circumstances.

  • icon

    There is no Government support for Landlords, It is pay out, pay out, pay out. That is the Government and Council Policy. And this will remain their Policy. And it is a £30000 fine for you for almost anything.
    Most of the non paying tenants who match the criteria for possession under the twelve month rule are not Covid Casualties. They are not paying because they do not have to.
    Is this Letter from Buckland something New , are Bailiffs finally going to enforce court possession orders?

  • icon

    where are the usual cries of:

    1) Pay up or get out; and,
    2) we're not a charity


    OMG. You're back! I thought you'd gone to America to write winning speeches for Trump.

    Incidentally the justification of the words in your two points remains unchanged - along with a third:

    We own the properties and our decisions are final (if perhaps delayed currently).

    It's that third point that infuriates the loony lefties so much as they want state control like in Russia and China etc.

    In the UK the power of Capital will continue to prevail so the message to the renters continues to be "Amass your own capital or remain subject to control by those who have the capital you are making use of, both at home and at work."

  • icon
    • 06 November 2020 11:17 AM

    I think all non-paying tenants and defaulters etc, should pay op now and get out immediately.
    For sure, LLs are NOT charities.

  • icon

    I’ve got a tenant whose circumstances haven’t changed at all and he’s suddenly decided not to pay rent any more 🙄😳😬. To add to that when one of his flat mates asked nicely if he could wipe up the food he had just spilled on the floor he threatened to call a friend who would leave him dead in a ditch. Called the police and they’ve made a report but there’s still nothing I can do to speed up his eviction. As you can imagine the other flat mates don’t feel particularly safe now and having to share with him for another 6 months or more is fairly grim.

  • icon

    I have four properties all with excellent tenants that have stayed with me for years. I have one property empty and I will not let it out until Covid 19 is gone. I don't want the problem of not being able to evict if they damage the property or do not pay rent. I am having a new kitchen and garden decking installed whilst it is empty.

    • 06 November 2020 14:30 PM

    I believe many LL will be doing as you if they are fortunate to have a vacant property.

    Bizarrely having a vacant property is the better business status compared to an occupied property with a rent defaulting tenant.

    Perhaps also a time for LL to consider selling or as you are doing refurbishing properties.


    covid is a scam--it will never be gone

  • icon

    Voids are very useful for repairs and up grades especially now, any new tenants taken on now need to be very carefully checked and with guarantors where necessary.

  • icon
    • 06 November 2020 14:57 PM

    I can see many properties being kept vacant.
    It is pretty much impossible to source tenants with guarantors.

    LL will have to take a gamble and let the property to the best tenant they can.
    But RGI and guarantors just won't be possible.

    With the dysfunctional eviction process this is why BTL has become unviable.

    LL can risk more if they don't have mortgages or very small ones.

    The whole BTL business proposition has now been made unviable.


    Gambling of any kind isn't for me.

    • 06 November 2020 16:16 PM

    Surely Paul - No guarantor = No tenancy?
    I would have to have some rock-solid guarantees of some sort before I would let anyone in with just their say so.

    I have been turned over on far too many occasions.

  • icon
    • 06 November 2020 16:04 PM

    Unfortunately without RGI on a a tenant or guarantor it is very much a gamble.

    Finally it has been realised by many LL that the even more dysfunctional repossession process renders BTL unviable.

    It doesn't matter too much if you don't have a mortgage as you can get by.

    Mortgaged LL are up s### creek!!

  • icon
    • 06 November 2020 17:09 PM


    I get what you are saying and totally agree.

    Trouble is it is simply not achievable to source RGI qualifiable tenants and guarantors.

    LL have no choice but to gamble.

    The facts are that very few tenants are able to qualify for RGI or have access to guarantors.

    Your standards are the ideal.

    I have never been able to achieve what is your gold standard.
    Had I fully understood how flakey the BTL business model was I would have changed my investment strategy.

    Never did I realise how dysfunctional the eviction process was.

    Being wise after the event isn't very wise!!

    So I am going to attempt to do what I should have done 12 years ago.
    One property with a very small mortgage.

    BTL is simply too risky now that you cannot easily get rid of rent defaulting tenants.

    If RGI and guarantors were possible then fine but they aren't.
    So time for me to go if I can!!
    I am no longer prepared to gamble anymore as I can't achieve RGI or guarantors.

    Fredy Jones

    If you have lodgers then does the eviction ban not apply?

  • icon
    • 07 November 2020 07:23 AM



    Fredy Jones

    So how do you go about evicting lodgers during lockdown if there is a backlog of court hearings?

  • icon

    my tenant has completely trashed my leased property and been charged with criminal damage by the police and is on remand until a trial date is given . Not sure what i can do to evict him or get compensation

    Fredy Jones

    Many tenants completely trash the place if they are forcibly evicted, yes they may be charged by the police but they don’t care. The world has changed since cv19 and these things just don’t matter anymore


    Seems strange that he is on remand for criminal damage, I would have thought he would have got bail for that.

  • icon
    • 07 November 2020 13:58 PM


    What makes you believe a live-in LL would be the slightest bit interested in any court backlog?

    No tenancy laws apply to lodgers or rather very few.
    Certainly none of the PoEA regulations apply.

    Tough if there is lockdown out they go if rent defaulting.
    A lodger cannot prevent a LL from removing them.

    Fredy Jones

    There was one case on the telly of the lodgers kicking out the live in LL, they called the police and said he was harassing them

  • icon
    • 07 November 2020 14:25 PM

    Best thing to do is get all the necessary paperwork together and submit asap as when the courts get back to normal.

  • Fredy Jones

    I always thought rent a room was designed for tenants who rent large properties? It’s ideal for those with kids on low income who rent a large property and who get Universal Credit. If you're on Universal Credit, any money you get from sub-tenants and lodgers under the rent-a-room scheme will not be counted as income up to the tax-free threshold.

  • Fredy Jones

    The Rent a Room scheme is an optional scheme open to owner occupiers or tenants who let out furnished accommodation to a lodger in their main home.

    It allows you to earn up to £7,500 a year tax-free.

    You don’t have to be a homeowner to take advantage of the scheme. If you’re renting you can also lease out a room to a lodger, as long as your own lease allows you to do so.

  • icon
    • 08 November 2020 12:31 PM

    I confess I am not sure about the effects of RFRA income on UC claims.
    As you suggest perhaps it is disregarded for UC income calculation purposes.

    A tenant may take a LODGER subject to LL permission.
    It is a legal requirement that a LL checks ALL permanent occupiers have the RTR.

    The tenant will become the lodger's LL.
    They would need to issue a lodger agreement and show the lodger the gas certificate.

    If the lodger has a TV then technically a separate TV licence would need to be purchased.
    Of course nobody ever does this.

    The tax free sum of £7500 is a total amount.

    Most lenders restrict lodgers to no more than two.

    One has to be careful that one complies with all the multiplicity of Licensing schemes that might be in force.
    The one to watch out for is the Mandatory HMO licence.
    You definitely don't want excess lodgers pushing you into needing that.
    Unless of course you don't mind and are able to comply and don't mind the Licence cost.

    As a lodger LL you don't have to use the RFRA as you may just declare all the income.
    This works especially when you have carried major improvements as you can offset against tax.

    You can change every tax you what you wish to do.
    Most stick to the RFRA.

    Being a lodger LL isn't for the unwary.

    I always suggest a live-in LL contacts the Council if they are intending to take on multiple lodgers due to ever changing requirements.
    It seems no two Councils have the same policies!!!

    So check first before you get into lodgers.
    Check with your lender as well.

    I think there is Lodgersite by Mandy Thompson who has info on everything Lodger.
    A wealth of information and products are available.
    I use her free lodger agreements all the time.

    Being a lodger LL can be an effective solution to counter the problems that tenants cause but you still have to be on your game.

    The vast majority of lodger LL tend to only take on one lodger so rarely will they have any issues.
    It is also worthwhile checking with your resi insurers confirming to them that you now have an unrelated occupier in the property.
    This may cause an increase in the insurance premium.
    Better safe than sorry as you don't want to risk not advising the insurer of a 'material fact'.

    For many OO they can fund a loft extension which over about 5 years could be paid for with lodger income.

    Many OO will be considering how they may sweat their property asset in these difficult times.
    Taking in a lodger/s is relatively easy income to achieve with the tax free bit being very useful.
    Get paid in cash and I would query how HMRC would ever know more than £7500 is being received but that is between you; your God and HMRC!!


    Cheers to admitting your tactics for defrauding hmrc and blatant racism. I've send them to hmrc.

  • icon
    • 09 November 2020 20:29 PM

    you troll.
    Why are you posting on a LL site which clearly you aren't.
    Got nothing better to do!?
    I was suggesting what is common knowledge and obvious.
    At no point was I or do I suggest that any lodger LL declares less than they receive in lodger income.
    You are distorting what I have stated.

    It is obvious to anyone what the situation could be regarding lodger income.

    As for being racist that is your opinion.
    I am not.
    I consider every occupant on their merits and whom I am most comfortable with.

    It just so happens I prefer my own culture as is my prerogative.


    Youre wasting time explaining yourself to me. I've also complained to spareroom and your local Bishop stortford Council.. I wonder what would happen if I complain LFB


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